UPDATED: GSK says tests show Vir antibody drug works against Omicron

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Dec 2 (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday said that a lab analysis of the antibody-based COVID-19 therapy it is developing with U.S. partner Vir has shown the drug is effective against the new Omicron variant.

In a statement, the British drugmaker said that lab tests and a study on hamsters have demonstrated the sotrovimab antibody cocktail to work against viruses that were bio-engineered to carry a number of hallmark mutations of the Omicron variant.

The tests are ongoing to confirm the results against all of the Omicron mutations with an update expected by year-end, it added.

Separately, Britain’s drug regulator on Thursday approved sotrovimab, also known under the brand name Xevudy, for people with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk of developing severe disease.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommended use of Xevudy as soon as possible and within five days of the onset of symptoms.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger Editing by David Goodman)

Photo – EPA-EFE/WALLACE WOON

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